This Guardian article from February 2000 reports calls for an “urgent revision” of the rules to enable “low output” disabled workers to be exempt from minimum wage legislation. The proposal said some disabled workers should be classified as “special provision” and as a result be exempt from statutory provision, thus allowing employers to pay them less than the minimum wage. This was not an off-the-cuff remark from a Tory peer, but a detailed proposal from Mencap, Britain’s leading charity for disabled people.
Mencap said at the time that while they otherwise support the minimum wage, an exemption should be allowed because “Most people with a learning disability want to work and we urge the government to give them that chance.” Which is almost exactly the point Lord Freud was making. On the News at Ten last night the only mention that the entire Freud row was contrived at best came in the last line, so regardless of the rights and wrongs it’s a Labour win…
UPDATE: Sentiment below speaks for itself.
— David Parsons (@DavidParsons24) October 16, 2014